The Problem: The High Cost of Textbooks
The Chronicle of Higher Education reported a survey finding that 7 out of 10 college students had skipped buying a textbook because of cost. The 2012 National Survey of Student Engagement reported that:
"Concern for finances appears to affect many students' academic performance. About one in four first-year students and one in three seniors frequently did not purchase required academic materials due to their cost, and a third of students believed that financial concerns interfered with their academic performance."
See the Guide on our Affordable Course Materials Initiative for information about what BC is doing, and for more resources.
Retrieved from http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/655066.pdf
Toward a Solution
The Subject Specialist Librarians are available to advise faculty on ways to lower the cost of class materials. Working with faculty to find the best resources is central to the librarians' expertise and mission.
They can provide assistance in finding available high quality resources that meet faculty pedagogical goals without adding to student expenses.
The Directory of Open Access Journals links to scholarly journals in all fields.
In addition, the Libraries subscribe to thousands of journals and databases. The Libraries' licenses usually allow linking or downloading those articles and placing them in course reserves or a password protected environment like Canvas. Course reserves librarians can help with these links.
Open Access Resources
Sources of Open Access Course materials can be found on our Affordable Course Materials page.
The Directory of Open Access Books includes thousands of peer-reviewed books from academic publishers.
Public Domain Materials
Public domain materials such as U.S. government documents, legislation, court cases and reports can be copied or linked freely and distributed to students at no charge.
Works in which copyright has expired (most pre-1923 works are in this category) are also in the public domain.
The Open Courseware Consortium links to materials for online open courses -- this goes beyond textbooks to assignments, lecture notes and curriculum materials.
Open Course Library : an example that provides a collection of shareable course materials, including syllabi, course activities, readings, and assessments designed by teams of college faculty, instructional designers, librarians, and other experts.